The majority of the public support net zero policies, until they curb personal freedoms and make life more expensive, according to new research.
Policies like increasing taxes on red meat and dairy rallied the least support across the older generations, while frequent flyer levies failed to pull in younger, travel-hungry, individuals, according to the research by the Climate Engagement Partnership in collaboration with Ipsos MORI and the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST).
Despite cash-strapped youths less reluctant to support frequent flier levies, the policy received the highest levels of support out of those surveyed.
A further 62 per cent supported products reflecting their environmental impact in their pricing, phasing out gas and coal boilers and introducing electric vehicle (EV) subsidies.
More than half (54 per cent) think the UK needs to bring its net zero target by 2050 forward, the research showed.
“This research shows that people are very worried about climate change and they are broadly supportive of implementing policies to tackle the issue,” managing director of public affairs at Ipsos MORI, Kelly beaver said.
“However, people struggle to accept the personal impact policies may have on them.”
The research presents a new hoop through which the government must jump through in delivering climate-necessary policies at the upcoming COP26 – particularly as support for net zero policies is lower among those who voted Conservative at the last election, the data revealed.
Director of CAST, Lorraine Whitmarsh said: “There is a need to raise awareness of the costs of action but also of inaction, and for net zero policies to be designed in ways that generate wider benefits to people’s health, wellbeing, and financial stability.”